Blancpain GT Series, Round 8, Sprint Cup, Hungaroring – Qualifying Race:
Jake Dennis scored his maiden podium finish in the Blancpain GT Series, a first corner manoevre ensuring he and Team WRT team-mate Pieter Schothorst secured third place in the opening Sprint Cup qualifying race at the Hungaroring.
Starting from fourth position on the grid, Racing Steps Foundation-backed Dennis managed to position his #3 Audi R8 LMS machine around the outside of Turn 1, enabling him to move around and past the third place starting Mercedes-AMG GT3 of Maxi Buhk.
Despite experiencing high tyre degredation during his stint, Dennis was able to close in on the gearbox of the second-placed Grasser Racing Lamborghini Huracan GT3 of Mirko Bortolotti while the fellow WRT Audi of Robin Frijns was similarly suffering with his tyres and dropping back from Dennis.
With the 10-minute pit window opening, Dennis handed the car over to Schothorst, who managed his tyres well and defend from the attentions of Buhk’s team-mate Franck Perera to hold on to a third place finish by three tenths of a second.
Dennis’ fellow RSF-backed driver Ben Barnicoat also competed in the #58 Strakka Racing McLaren 650 S GT3 machine alongside team-mate Alvaro Parente.
Having started the race, Parente lost out during a number of incidents, one of which was investigated by stewards, demoting him to 19th position.
Barnicoat took control of the McLaren in the second half of the race with a damage-limitation mentality, and was able to bring the car home in 20th position.
The #5 Team WRT Audi R8 LMS of Marcel Fässler and Dries Vanthoor continued their domination of the weekend with a comfortable race victory. Engelhart and Bortolotti’s Lamborghini Huracan scored second with Dennis and Schothorst completing the podium.
|Hungaroring (4.381km / 2.722 miles): Qualifying Race (Top 10)|
|Pos||Driver||Team||Car||Time / Gap|
|1||Fässler / Vanthoor||Team WRT||Audi R8 LMS||1h 00m 04.789s|
|2||Engelhart / Bortolotti||GRT Grasser Racing||Lambourghini Huracan GT3||+2.758s|
|3||Dennis / Schothorst||Team WRT||Audi R8 LMS||+10.124s|
|4||Perera / Buhk||HTP Motorsport||Mercedes-AMG GT3||+10.513s|
|5||Leonard / Frijns||Team WRT||Audi R8 LMS||+18.311s|
|6||Soulet / Soucek||Bentley Team M-Sport||Bentley Continental GT3||+22.652s|
|7||Winkelhock / Stevens||Team WRT||Audi R8 LMS||+23.854s|
|8||Ide / Mies||Team WRT||Audi R8 LMS||+31.706s|
|9||Meadows / Marciello||AKKA ASP||Mercedes-AMG GT3||+33.822s|
|10||Monti / Haase||Sainteloc Racing||Audi R8 LMS||+39.998s|
|20||Barnicoat / Parente||Strakka Racing||McLaren 650 S GT3||+1m 05.779s|
Free practice 1: Barnicoat/Parente 23rd, 1m 45.314s, +1.228s; Dennis/Schothorst 9th, 1m 44.410s, +0.324s. Free practice 2: Barnicoat/Parente 13th, 1m 43.544s, +0.641s; Dennis/Schothorst 14th, 1m 43.564s, +0.661s. Qualifying: Barnicoat/Parente 18th, 1m 43.217s, +0.858s; Dennis/Schothorst 4th, 1m 42.620s, +0.261s. Qualifying Race: Barnicoat/Parente 20th, +1m 05.779s; Dennis/Schothorst 3rd, +10.124s.
Photo: Olivier Beroud / Vision Sport Agency. Copyright-free Racing Steps Foundation images are available from the RSF Image Bank at www.jakobebrey.com/rsf